#CreativeFriday – Applying graphics to 3D models

This post will show how to apply a graphic to a 3D object, regardless of the presence of a UV map or not. Applying a graphic to the model will use a technique called ‘Projection’. Projection will take the contents of a layer (above the model) and push the pixles to the surface of the model and place it into the texture layers.

This toy plane will be used in this demo, and will place graphics on the top of the wings.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.17.02I don’t have any graphics handy, so i’m going to use Adobe Stock to find some. To do this, i’ve created a new library under the Photoshop Library panel, called Toy Plane Graphics.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.18.03From within the Library panel (marked in red), you can select Adobe Stock (marked in blue), and the desktop apps will take you to the Adobe Stock website.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.18.03 copyWe are going to search for ‘Plane Graphics’ and ‘Vectors’ and see what results come back.

After a few searches, a couple of options have been found

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.25.15It’s easy to select these for Preview or too license direct by selecting the appropraite option, you can also specify a target library at the same time.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.35.25 copy

These two graphics are transferred to the Library panel in the desktop apps via the Creative Cloud Sync (part of the Creative Cloud Desktop application that you probably have on your computer).

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.35.59 For the projection method of transferring the graphics onto the texture to work, the cameras of the 3D viewport will need to see the target area. Also, projection will only place the graphics on the parts that the camera can see.

Re-orientating the plane can be done with the 3D secondary view (or by manually moving it with the 3D move tools). This panel will normally be shown when the 3D layer as well as the move tool are selected. But if it’s not shown, then it can be selected from the  toolbar menu option View/ Show / 3D Secondary view.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.17.02 copy

The following panel should appear in the view port (top left)

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.06.24

This secondary view is showing the plane in orthographic mode, more like a 2D view, rather than a perspective (3D) view. This view can be changed by clicking on the camera (marked in red), and selecting the view (i’ll select Top view), as that is where the graphics will be placed.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.06.24 copyChoose the transfer to main window button, marked in yellow. If the plane in the viewport is too far away, or to close to the camera, the camera can be dollied using the icon marked in red below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.17.23 copy

The library graphic can be added to the comp, by dragging it and into the canvas. A new layer to contain this object will be created for you. The star was originally on a white background, but with a simple selection, a mask has been created to hide it.

Once the graphic is sitting on a layer above the plane, it can be pushed down using CMD+E (Mac) or CTRL+E on a PC. This will operate a merge downward action and push the graphic onto the plane and into the texture layer. Merging down will sometimes cause graphics to dissapear, if this happens see section ‘ What can go wrong when merging down?’ below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.32.38 copy

Once merged, the graphic should be displayed but will take on the characteristics on the light and materials of the 3D scene.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.36.47

If the texture is opened at this point, the graphic will be displayed blended into the texture layer. The black wiry element is the UV map and I think you might agree that it’s a bit messy, that’s because it’s not a very well created UV map. Also, you will see 3 stars below and not one, and this is because of the overlapping UV’s in the map. If the UV map gets in the way, it can be turned off by un-checking the UV check box marked in red.

N.B. When painting and texturing a 3D object it is important to have well laid out UV maps.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.41.13 copy

Without UVw’s turned on

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.41.17

How does the merge down work. When the merge down is actioned, Photoshop will look for a layer to place the textures on, this should be an empty/simple layer. The layer is very useful as it helps to isolate different merge downs (if there are many), as they can be placed on individual layers within the texture map. By operating Photoshop in this way will allow the textures to be kept as non-destructuve layers, for re-editing at a later point in time (you don’t need to rasterise texture layers in Photoshop CC).

I.e. A new layer is placed in the texture, this is done by clicking the new layer button (marked in red)

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.48.35 copy

One the other side of the wing, you can see a colour graphic, which has been placed into a new layer above the 3D object, a mask created to cut the background out, then converted to a Smart Object.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.52.46

After the merge down (CMD+E (Mac) or CTRL+E (Pc)) has been performed, the graphic is moved to the empty layer in the texture.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.54.57What can go wrong when merging down?

Some times the dialog box similar to the one below may appear. This means that there is no empty layer at the top of the layer stack to place the graphic, in this case the texture contains a Smart Object at the top most layer and Photoshop is not able place the graphic. The way around this is to make a new empty layer in the texture, then retry the operation (selecting ‘Change Texture Target’ will open the texture for you.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.57.16 copy

To get to the texture layers, click on the 3D panel and choose the material layer, in this case called  ‘Material1’ under it’s 3D object. Notice that there are other materials called the same name, this is because the UVw map that contains the texture is shared across the other 3D objects in the scene (it doesn’t matter which material is selected in this case). Once the material is selected, the Materials properties will be shown (in the properties panel). To open the texture, click the ‘Diffuse’ icon marked in red below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 23.01.55 copy

Graphic goes missing on the merge down?

Some times the merge down graphic goes missing, if this happens, place the merge down graphic in a Smart Object and re-try.

To see what’s possible with this technique, the Jeri model (shown below), that was created by James Stewart for the Adobe gallery at the 3D Print Show in New York was painted in exactly this way.



James Stewart’s Video about Jeri and 3D painting in Photoshop CC 


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#CreativeFriday – New Colour mode workflows in Photoshop CC

The evolution of Photoshop CC has brought created brand new workflows, mostly with the ever growing support for Smart Objects within the adjustment layers and filters. One area that has been improved is for those people that like to work in mulitple colour modes.

As you are probably aware Photoshop has multiple colour modes, CMYK, Lab and RGB to name a few. There are benefits to working within a specific colour space as opposed to another. However, the worflow was to convert the document to the required mode, then convert it back and loosing any edits. This post is to show how to work in multiple colour modes at anyone time without loosing the edits.

i.e. A typical workflow for somone that wanted to work in Lab from an RGB document was to convert from the documents originating source (in this caes RGB), then convert to Lab (using Image / Mode / Lab). Once the adjustments have been made, the document would be then most likely be turned back to the original mode (RGB in this case), or the intended output mode (i.e. CMYK or RGB for example).

i.e. RGB -> LaB -> RGB.

This was fine, but when converting back the adjustments made in Lab would committed to and not re-editable.

Using Smart Objects with this workflow can be beneficial and improve the workflow by enabling in intermediate mode edits to be kept for re-adjustment later.

Once the artwork has been loaded into Photoshop CC, the colour mode is highlighted on the document (marked in red), in this case it’s RGB. The layer is also a Smart Object (which links back to the original RAW file, where any adjustments made from Lightroom or from Camera RAW are kept).

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 15.56.13The colour modes are available on the Photoshop menu Image / Mode

v3To Convert between different modes is easy, just select the new mode and Photoshop CC will convert to the new mode for you. However, tools will behave differently in different modes. i.e. Curves in RGB has a channel entry for the overall channel, Red, Green and Blue. Where as, Lab, has Luminance, a and b (Once the conversion happens all of the tools will change)

A better and non-destructive way of working is to Create a Smart Object from the Smart Object, once the file is opened.

v4This process will embed the original file into a Smart Obejct, allowing Photoshop to store the final image in RGB mode (the new Smart Object, the original file’s Smart Object can then be converted to be Lab).

Once the Conversion to a Smart object operation has completed, the layer will need to be double clicked to open the embedded layer (there will be two canvases open inside Photoshop). To convert the embded file to operate in a different mode, choose Image / Mode, then choose the desired Mode. When the Smart Object layer is converted to a different colour mode, Photoshop will ask if the layer should be rasterised, I would choose the ‘Don’t Rasterize’ option and work around the issues (Becasue Lab is a large colour mode, there my be some colours that the final RGB profile may not be able to deal with). Not rasterizing the layer will keep any RAW adjustments that came from either Camera Raw or from Lightroom.

v7Now the colour mode has been set to Lab, the adjustment controls will be in Lab mode.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 16.22.30The Smart object that contains this layer will show it’s contents in the RGB mode

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 16.22.56

Again, Smart Objects now is able to solve the problem of working within different colour modes in Photoshop CC.

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Photoshop CC 3D Printing – Support for Ultimaker 2 now available

Photoshop CC now supports the Ultimaker 2 printer as part of it’s local printer support. The Ultimaker 2 profile can be downloaded from the the link marked in green below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 10.44.14


Once the profile has been downloaded, just unzip the file

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.11.44To install the profile, just open Photoshop CC, then navigate to Scripts / Browse and select the Ultimaker 2 profile.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.12.52

Once the profile and the 3D model is loaded, then choose the 3D Print settings from the 3D menu and select Local / Ultimaker 2. To start the Photoshop 3D Printer pipeline, click the button marked in green.


Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.15.40



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Special Event at the South London Makerspace: 3D and 3D Printing in Photoshop CC


Special Event: 3D and 3D Printing in Photoshop CC

Join Richard Curtis from Adobe at South London Makerspace on Saturday, 14th November 2015 for special 3D Printing in Photoshop CC event…


This talk will explain and provide information on the 3D/3D printing capabilities in Photoshop CC. We will focus on the working with the 3D interface as well as how to import and work with 3D models when inside Photoshop. The talk will also explain the advancements of the 3D printing engine and how it works with desktop and commercial 3D printers, as well as online services like Sculpteo and iMaterialise.


We are looking for about 20+ attendees, the event is open to the members and the public on a first come first serve basis, it will take place in Phase 1 (aka The Gate Room).

Register to attend here


11:00 – Welcome to Makerspace

11:15 – 3D and 3D Printing in Photoshop CC (~2 hours)

After the event we’ll head over to the pub for some lunch and drinks.

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#CreativeFriday – 3D Printing in Colour with Photoshop CC and Scultpeo

A few weeks ago Scultpeo and I held a webinar to talk, and demonstrate how to import a 3D Object into Photoshop CC, then get it ready to paint and paint it. You can watch the webinar below.
If you would like to import a 3D object and paint it in Photoshop CC, but don’t have the Sculpteo printer profiles, you can download them from the Photoshop 3D printing page here, then click on the text within the area marked in red and choose ‘Sculpteo Printer Profiles’. If you don’t already have Photoshop CC, then you can download a 30 day trial here.
Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 20.11.37
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#CreativeFriday – 3D Printing with Photoshop CC and Tinkerine Ditto Pro

Tinkerine Ditto Pro 3D printer was recently added to the Photoshop FDM printer portolfio. Tinkerine and I held a webinar to show how Photoshop CC and the Tinkerine Ditto Pro work together and the types of things that you are able to print with this combination. The video below is the replay of this session.


If you would like to play and print with the Tinkerine Ditto Pro 3D printer profile with Photoshop CC, then you can download it from the Photoshop 3D printing page here, and click on the text within the area marked in red. If you don’t already have Photoshop CC, then you can download a 30 day trial here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 20.11.37

N.B. I apologise for the 10 minutes sound at the end of the session, for some reason the microphone developed a fault during the recording.


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#CreativeFriday – Photoshop’s Fade feature enhancement in Photoshop CC 2015

Since the release of Photoshop CC 2015, it has been possible to use the standard Image Adjustments non-destructively on a Smart Object. This great enhancement will not only allow you to re-edit the adjustments, but also control the opacity and blending modes of each adjustment at any time within your workflow (essentially replacing the Fade command with a turbo charged Fade command).

Why is this so great and why not keep using the Old Fade command behaviour?

Lots of Photoshop users work on their artwork using the image adjustment operations on a single layer, then if they need to fine-tune the adjustment, they would use the Fade command. The Fade command is very useful for changing opacity or the blending mode of the effect; however, it’s a destructive edit and can only be performed once, just after the adjustment has been applied.


So for example: If an exposure adjustment is made to a layer, the fade command will be available until a new command is executed. i.e. If a selection is made straight after the exposure command is made, the Fade command will no longer be available.


In the 2015 update, the Image adjustments/Fade command became more powerful, but moved to a new place. Fade is now available not just as a menu item, but also when used in combination with Smart Objects. This technique also opens up more adjustments that were not possible when using Smart Objects previously, but also more precision and control at any time during the workflow.


Let’s look at how these adjustments can be used on a layer, and then use the new Fade options to get precise control.


An image opened into Photoshop CC 2015 from Lightroom, using Smart Objects.


1When this operation is performed, any adjustments in Lightroom will be carried non-destructively into Photoshop. The layer inside Photoshop will now enable you to carry on editing the original RAW file + any Lightroom adjustments using Camera Raw. 

Once inside Photoshop, an adjustment may need to be made. To make a non-destructive edit a ‘New Adjustment Layer’ is typically used. This means that any changes via each layer won’t directly have an impact on the underlying (original image), but will also allow continuous edits without having to use the History panel to go back to a previous state.


Alternatively, adjustments can now be made using Image / Adjustments directly on the Smart Object

For example, now the exposure can be increased or decreased by a stop (or more if required)
3effect will be added as a non-desctructive adjustment to the Smart Object (marked in red below)
Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 12.53.29The traditional Fade command is no longer available (as it traditionally is for adjustments). The Fade is now available on the adjustment itself by placing a right click on the adjustment.
4 The ‘Edit Smart Filter’ will open the original adjustment options and the ‘Edit Smart Filter Blending Options’ will open the old Fade command. This essentially means that the Fade operation is now available at any point in your workflow, not just straight after the adjustment has been made.
6We hope that you enjoy this huge improvement with non-destructive workflows when using Fade and Image Adjustments on your artwork.
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#CreativeFriday – Adding a label on a complex 3D bottle with Photoshop CC

Last week we covered how to add a label onto a bottle using the Projection/merge down method in Photoshop CC 3D. As mentioned, this is beneficial when the label is the same size or smaller than the part of the object that is facing the camera. But what if the label is larger than the object face?

For example, this label, unless is reduced in size will likely need to be wrapped around the hidden areas of the bottle face.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 14.06.33

The other issue is that the milk bottle is only a single shell, therefore adding just a texture to it will cover the whole bottle (as shown below).

hmm, not really what we would like to see.

So what happened, and why does it look like this.

Because the bottle is a single shell, the textures will be added to the whole shell, but using the UV(w) maps to associate the texture to the polygons of the model. Opening the texure map will show what is going on with this texture and 3D model.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 16.37.42

When the UV map was created, it was created in a way that split the maps into many islands, also the maps are not really unwraping the object in the most efficient way. To get around this, you could project the parts of the image on the model (as in last weeks post). Also, the image can be mapped to the UV(w) maps using Photoshop’s 2D tools like warp etc. A better way (in my opinion), is to properly re-create the UV(w) maps for the intended use and describe where the unwrap starts and finishes. To do this we will need to use a 3D software package that is able to edit the UV maps. For this (as in previous posts, we will use Cinema 4D).

3D Objects can be exported direct from Photoshop (this is handy if they are inside a PSD or a 3D PDF). To export an object from Photoshop, rightclick on the 3D object in the 3D panel or from the 3D layer choose Export 3D object/mesh.


Inside Cinema, you can see the UV, as we saw in Photoshop CC (without the texture). Note Cinema is in BP UV Edit mode, this allows you to see the UV and edit it (if/when required).

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 16.41.54

The old UV(w) map can be removed if required, by deleting the checkerboard icon on the object definition. However, for speed, we can just isolate the part that we need and work this way. This will be up to you, but either way is perfectly fine. For this exercise, i’ll keep the original UV and work with the areas that are requried for the label.


Move Cinema 4D into Edge mode (marked in Pink below) (the Standard interface is shown below (marked in yellow), this makes it easier to access the tools required for the next steps (your environment might be different to this)). You can clearly see the Polygons and edges and from this, you will be able to work out how the model should be cut for placement of the label.

To make the cuts, we use various selection methods to tell Cinema where to cut the object. A combination of ‘loop Select’, ‘Live Select’ (plus other selection tools, as and where required) and holding the SHIFT key down to add multiple edges to the selection. Then the active selection is saved by selecting from the menu bar Select \ Set Selection (and a meaningful name is given (marked in green above)).

As the UV(w) has already been created, i’m going to use this as a base, and just re-organise the selected section of the model. I’ve moved Cinema into BP UV Edit mode (marked in red), then selected ‘Relax UV’s’ (marked in green, we don’t want to re-created the UV(w), so projection has not been selected on this occasion). Before ‘Apply’ relax UV is pressed, Cinema needs to understand  where the edges are, the small trangle (marked in pink (left)), holds the selection that will be used (right). This triangle needs to be dragged to the ‘Cut Selected Edges’ text box and both ‘Cut Selected Edges’ and ‘Use Tag’ need to be turned on.  Then ‘Apply’ (keep LSCM selected) can be pressed.

In this case, the UV’s that will be used for the base will be re-created (splitting off any Polygons that are no longer included in this UV(w).

Below shows what happend as part of this action. The polygons for the base of the object which were attached to the original UV before the relax operation have been re-allocated, and are seperated as part of the UV map (these poygons are represented by the arc underneath the polygons that were cut within area marked in purple below). However, this part of the UV can now cause a problem. If the object was painted/textured on at this point. The polygons that are crossing other polygons, would also take any paint/texture at the same time. This can actually be usefull for getting consistency of small parts, but in this case it’s not to helpful. The polygons need to be seperated and the UV(w) cleaned up some more.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.27.30To clean up the UV(w), Cinema can be moved into Polygon UV mode (marked in green below) and the UV’s can be selected (marked yellow) in-line,direct on the UV (marked in pink on either side of the screen). To select the polygons, once the tools have been selected, just select them on the right hand (UV panel), when selected they will turn orange. It’s clear that the UV that will contain the label is only selected and the re-formed polygons have not been selected, as they are still black (on both representations).

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.36.17Using the rotate, scale and move tools, these UV’s can be moved and re-positioned out of way, allowing clean up the UV map. Selection of the UV polygons direct on the 3D object can also be done using these tools. N.B. If you do have UV’s overlapping it can take a little while to seperate them, but a clean UV(w) will pay off in the long run.

After a little time, the UV(w) looks like the following. (In another post we will look at positioning the UV(w)’s in the correct direction, based on textures that will be applied later).

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.00.07Now the UV(w) has been cleaned and moved around to create a good size for positioning the texture on in Photoshop, the next step is to save it out of Cinema and back to Photoshop. For this, i’ll use either the DAE (collada v1.4) format or the OBJ format, these can be found on the file export menu.

Bringing back into Photoshop and opening the textures once again, will hopefully show the new UV’s.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.08.06This will now make it much easier to add the label. Adding the label can be done in  mulitple ways, either direct on to the UV using a standard layer, or added as a texture, then moved into the desired position using the layer and Photoshop’s transform tools.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.22.29The result can be seen on the 3D model, as soon as the changes to the texture have been saved. In this case the label is inverted, so the transform tools can be used to flip it around.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 11.24.08

If you notice on the image above, there is are two tabs on the label that are rising above the label, this is due to missaligned UV’s on the UV(w). We can fix this, by heading back into the Cinema. By using the Selection tools (magenta) and the Magnet tool (blue), the rougue polygon(s) can be manually moved into it’s correct position (yellow) and snapped (green) into pace.

When re-exported back into Photoshop, the image is represented much better (more time and patience will give much better results).

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 12.58.37


Hopefully you can now easily place a label on any object, bottle or not !

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#CreativeFriday – Adding a label to a bottle with Photoshop 3D Projection

I’ve been asked this question a few times now, “How do you add a label to a bottle using Photoshop’s 3D features”. Simple enough, but believe it or not it’s loaded with issues, so this blog post will look to take this subject on and offer a few ways of solving it and making it simple. Next weeks post will look at wrapping a larger label around a bottle and try to explain the issue and simplify for you.

First, is there a quick way of adding a label on a bottle? The answer is yes, but will depend on the bottle, it’s geometry, and label size.

Let us take this 3D Bottle,

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.13.49The simplest way of putting a label, graphic or image onto a surface (doesn’t have to be a bottle) is to project it. Photoshop’s 3D system is built into the layers panel. This means that a new layer can be created and can be used to store the graphic for projecting. The graphic will be merged down and pushed directly onto the 3D model’s texture layer, at which ever position the bottle and label are at. One consideration of the projection, is that it will only cover the area of the object that is facing the camera, and won’t wrap around the hidden surfaces.

The bottle will need to be moved into the correct position and face the camera. I am using the secondary window (marked in red below) to select the left side of the image (orthographic mode, rather than perspective mode), and then transfer the secondary view to the main window by using the icon marked in yellow.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.18.19The bottle is now in position.

The Adobe Stock service (direct from the Creative Cloud Desktop Application) is a great way to find an appropriate (Free For Placement) label.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.22.10A range of items are displayed where the meta data matches the search query.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.22.45The asset, once found, can then be transmitted to my libraries panel within the desktop applications and stored. For this exercise I’ll use one called 2D Shapes (as shown below). The asset is free to use ‘For Placement Only’ (FPO) and can be licensed from the Adobe stock site or from within the library panel by right clicking on the asset and choosing license image.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.29.06

Once the Label is in position, it’s ready for projecting to the surface texture.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.30.20To project the image onto the texture channel, just right click on the image layer and choose ‘Merge Down’

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.30.20The image is then sent to the texture and it will be shown as attached to the 3D model’s surface.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 13.32.13As you can see, it’s relatively easy when the label / graphic is smaller than the face facing the camera.

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Sculpteo and Adobe Live Webinar on Making Colour Prints with Photoshop CC

Sculpteo and Adobe have joined forces to create a Live Webinar to help your 3D Prints Pop! Our Multi-Color material for 3D printing pairs perfectly with Photoshop CC and we’ll show you how with our “Intro Webinar”. You do not want to miss this…


Are you struggling to get the best looking, and most vivid colors or textures out of your 3D printer? If so we have just the thing for you, our Photoshop Creative Cloud + Sculpteo webinar is a must see.

The webinar is on Aug. 27th, 2015 at 12:30pm PST (see below to sign up).

You will be shown features in Adobe’s Photoshop CC  by Richard Curtis (Digital imaging & 3D Print Specialist at Adobe), these features include the various 3D painting tools that are essential for getting the vivid colors you’re looking for. After learning about the tools available in Photoshop CC, I will walk you through how to upload your file from Photoshop CC into Sculpteo’s website for multi-color printing. There are many features on the Sculpteo site that you can utilize to put money back in your pocket when ordering from Sculpteo and I’ll walk you through the optimization, and review tools in the webinar, a few important design guidelines, and I’ll also explain what happens after you place your order with Sculpteo.


Print in multi-color for more vivid 3D Prints!


If you’re someone who owns a desktop 3D printer but you’re really looking for a more polished and professional final print, our multi-color material offers 390,000 different color choices and our finishes range from raw to glossy varnish which helps hide the layers of your print if that’s what you’re looking for.


You’ll walk away from this webinar with all the tools you need to get your best quality 3D prints! We will also have a nice little prize for those who attend the webinar, so make sure you don’t miss out.


How to sign up for the webinar…


1. Click this link to save the invite to your calendar.

2. On the day you’ll get a pop-up.

3. Just use the URL in the invite to join the Adobe Connect room.

And you’re all set! See you all there.


(Original post from Sculpteo)

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